Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hierarchy and Composition - Try drawing this

I like this image because it's small and doesn't have any details on it. -So you can easily see how all the parts fit together into a:

1) Clear and easy to read composition (functional)

2) Each part - each positive part (trees, foliage, hills) and each negative part balance artistically against each other
in a pleasant design (artistic)

balancing art and function is the goal


Don't forget to give me a clickable link in the comments if you want to show me your studies. If it's not clickable it's less likely to be seen.

Here are some helpful Posts:



Iron maiden said...

Hey John

Just one question how do I make my links clickable?

Severin said...

Here's my first try.

I've been doing a lot of these exercises, and I feel silly for not posting any of them before now.

MikeL said...

Hey John, great post.. I think it's a little out of my league at the moment.. still trying to get construction down...

Here's a link to my studies:
my stuff

Also... do you have suggestions for controlling the shapes of your lines when working on a Wacom tablet? On paper I don't draw quite as sketchy and it's pretty upsetting..

Charles H. said...

Well, here goes-


Davi Calil said...


Just cheking if I learned how to make the clickable link.

see here

I worked in some constructions exercises... I will do the one of hierachy and composition right now.

Zorrilla said...

Here's a link to my study:


Looks stiff, I'll try again later.

Niki said...

This reminded me of an old movie I've seen, and I remembered that the trees looked like they stopped on the second level of hierarchy.

Jake Thomas said...

Preston Blair Practice

Here are some of the Preston Blair lessons I did, I will put up more soon.

John said...

Okay... It's copyin' time!!

Davi Calil said...

my study of hierarchy and composition

link here

thank you for the lesson.

Paul B said...

Here's my try
I studied that Pigtales composition and applied it to one of my drawings

Composition study

A.M.Bush said...

Hi, here's mine

hierarchy practice


Joseff said...

Good evening John, did my try at composition, you can check out my study here.

Took me a while to understand it, and did a couple of practices until i got the hang of it. What do you think?

David Gale said...

Hi John,

Here's my attempt.

Zorrilla said...

My second try:


Not as stiff, but less accurate.

thomas said...

I hope its not too out of line to offer up an opinion, being that I'm not in the class, and therefore don't have a drawing up, BUT....

looking at some of the posted drawings, the compositions look somewhat out of balance. Some of the compositions are leaning too much in the direction of the line of action.

Hope my comment is helpful, and that nobody minds my "out of school" comment, including our highly esteemed blogmeister.

Paul B said...

Here's my Howie Post composition!:


The Blue Orange said...

First time trying one of these practices, and boy does it show:

My First Try

Gregg said...

Would all this rushed cartoon college have anything to do with a recent pitch?

Either way, it's a very generous and
novel thing to do.

Nicolas Martinez said...

Here's my crack at the Howie Post composition.
Click Here

Matt Crosser said...

John K. here is my version. Thanks for your comments.

Christine Gerardi said...

Here's my head construction study. If you could drop me a quick line, that'd be awesome.

diego cumplido said...

Here's my attempt. Tougher than what I thought.

Rick Roberts said...

Iron Maiden:



OT but I saw High Tech Wreck today, first time in YEARS. Enjoyed it much.

Needles G.'s Urban Exploits said...

my first attempt at the scene


Im having trouble with the horse

teyem said...

Here is my try,
Click Me

I just found your site yesterday. It's great went to school for animation and I have learned twice as much on your blog than in class.

Christine Gerardi said...

Ahhhh my link didn't work. How does one do that?

ComiCrazys said...

Here's mine.

Pedro Vargas said...

Hey, John! Here's my try at this!


Rodrigo said...

Hey John,

I've tried my hand at your suggestion. Here's the url, if you'd like to take a gander.

Hierarchy Exercise

Also, I did your suggested Preston Blair exercises about 2 years ago, but here they are in case you haven't seen them:

Preston Blair


Anonymous said...


Rita said...

And here is my try...


Niki said...

I hope you like it more than I do, I wasn't to confident in doing it, but there's something else there I want you to examine too.Link

essenmitsosse said...

Here is my Version. It’s done completly in Photoshop, but the Proportions are a bit of and I think it got a little stiff.

Nat said...

I really enjoy these challenges you set. I've given it a go and will be giving it a second go now I've learnt where I went wrong.

Thank you for the motivation.


Jim Vakalopoulos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul said...

Thought I'd have a go to see how I'm applying what I've learned so far:




pumml said...

Hi John,

Great motivation. That Howie Post is a tough act to follow.

My Attempt

The cartoon college is a novel idea... may your endeavors bear much fruit!

The Blue Orange said...

I tried to take what I gleaned from this exercise and do my own composition, using the same characters.

Original Composition

Please ignore the crappy Horse. I just like to pretend that it has an unfortunate spinal condition.

Daniel said...

That humbled me. A lot harder than it looks. Thanks for the challenge. For your review.

Daniel said...

What the? How did that happen?

Anyway, here's my real link.

Caleb said...

Hi John, here's mine

If anyone is wondering how to put links in comments, here's how.

Jim Vakalopoulos said...

Thanks for the info, Celeb.
Here's my sample.
click here

Lucky said...

Hi John, here's my study
I know I came in late, but I'm still gonna keep doing your assigments